Union Budget Reactions 2024 – Healthcare Industry

Dr. Anand Kumar, MD, Indian Immunologicals

I commend the initiatives outlined in the Interim Budget 2024, particularly those addressing women and children’s health. These measures signify a concerted effort to boost India’s healthcare system by prioritizing preventive care, expanding access to essential services, and leveraging innovation for better health outcomes.

The decision to provide and actively encourage cervical cancer vaccines for 9–14-year-olds reflects a proactive approach to preventing a significant health burden among young girls. Globally, cervical cancer stands as the fourth most widespread cancer in women, with millions of reported cases each year. Strategic investments in preventive measures are anticipated to reduce the occurrence of cervical cancer and mitigate its effect on morbidity and mortality rates in the years to come.

The budget has also allocated INR 1 lakh crore towards establishing a corpus, offering a 50-year interest-free loan to scale up research and innovation significantly in sunrise industries. This allocation presents a promising advancement within the vaccine industry. It allows for the integration of new-age technologies in vaccine development processes, especially for mRNA and Adenoviral vector vaccines.

Furthermore, the rollout of the YouWIN platform for immunization underscores the government’s commitment to streamlining vaccination efforts and improving coverage rates across the country. There is a hope that this budget is prioritizing areas such as preventive healthcare, and wide-reaching immunization efforts.